It is already mid-December which means it is time to start thinking forward to what will be most important in 2013! And for associations, members should be top priority. So ask yourself, which is more important: member retention or recruitment?
There are four reasons to put your focus on retention:
A traditional strategy for gaining attention is advertising, but to have effective campaign there are more costs than you may think. Between the research, the message testing, and the actual ad purchase, you’re looking at a big expense. It is much cheaper to retain members you already have.
If you are expending all your time and energy on recruitment, you are probably neglecting your current members, fueling dissatisfaction. This will backfire on your recruitment efforts big-time. Today with the internet, every single organization is vulnerable to bad attention. If members are leaving, the reasons why are just a google away. When you are considering investing in something, don’t you research it? You have to realize that your prospective members are doing the same.
If you play your cards right, that search could lead prospective members right into your arms. A focus on member retention increases satisfaction which leads to positive reviews and referrals. In other words, a focus on retention fuels recruitment.
Take a moment to reread your mission statement. What does it say? My guess is that it’s about providing the best services and advocacy for your members, not recruiting the most members. Think about that. If you are not working toward your mission statement, you’re not doing your job.
New Years Resolution: be the best you can be for members. Make retention your goal! When everyone is happy, you’ll see your numbers grow.